Natural Fibers

Portfolio 4.01 by Natalia Velez- Padua

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers are fibers that come from plants or animal resources, some natural fibers include cotton, wool, flax, and silk. We use to much of this resources in our clothes everyday.


Cotton is natural resource that came from a plant and manufacturers do some process with it to used it to make blouses, shirts, singlets, shorts, bermudas, jackets and pants, also it can be used to make bedspreads, pillowcases, carpets and curtains. With cotton is made most of the things we usually have to use in the diary life.

Some characteristics of cotton are soft, comfortable, wrinkles easily, absorbs perspiration quickly, has good color retention and is good to print on and is also strong and durable.

Cotton has diverse types of care. For fabrics made of 100% cotton you have to set your machine to the lowest setting, wash it in cold water, if you will iron it you have to put your iron to Medium, do not bleach it, hang to dry but not tumble dry because it will probably shrink. For those pieces that are made 50% cotton and 50% polyester you have to turn it inside out and machine wash with warm water, wash with fabrics that are of light colors, tumble dry with medium setting and set your iron to medium to ironing.


The wool is another natural resource, but this one came from an animal, that animal is the sheep. To obtain this fiber the producers or manufacturer have to sorting and grading, making yarn and lastly, making fabric. Wool is used to make sweaters, dresses, coats, suits, jackets, pants and the lining of boots,also be made into blankets and carpets.

Some characteristics of wool are that is hard wearing and absorbs moisture, not burn over a flame but blaze instead, light weight and versatile, not wrinkles easily, is resistant to dirt and wear and tear.

The wool care has to be careful. It is better if you hand wash it. You can wash it with your shampoo, preferably those shampoo who did not leave residues. If you want to use softener you have to be very careful because it can add products to your wool and damaged those that it have when was produced.


It is a food and fibre crop that is grown in cooler regions of the world. Flax fibres are taken from the stem of the plant and are two to three times as strong as those of cotton. Some uses are pants, blazers, table linens, upholstery.

Some characteristics of the flax are durable and strong, usually more strong than cotton and it can wrinkles easily.

The have to be depending what appear in the label attached, some cares are cold water wash or dry clean and iron while damp.


Silks is a natural animal resource that is produced by several other insects, but generally only the silk of moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacturing. There has been some research into other silks, which differ at the molecular level. Silk is used to make blouses, dresses, scarves, pants and ties. It can also be made into curtains, draperies, cushion covers and sofa covers.

The characteristics of the silk are versatile, very comfortable, absorbs moisture, cool to wear in the summer yet warm to wear in winter, can be easily dyed, retains it shape and is relatively smooth, has a poor resistance to sunlight exposure, and is the strongest natural fiber and lustrous.

It is best to dry clean your silk garment either by individual or bulk method, in order to maintain the characteristic of the silk. Sending it to the dry cleaners may be done but make sure that you inform the dry cleaner that your garment is made of silk. If you will hand wash make sure you wash in cool water, use a small amount of soap or mild detergent to wash the silk, after washing it, rinse in cold water, hang it or lay it flat in a shaded area to dry, if pressing is needed, use an all cotton iron board cover, a low or moderate steam setting, and press on the wrong side of the fabric while ironing.

Other Tips:

  • To keep white silk white, add peroxide and ammonia to the wash.
  • Do not use bleach or any washing detergent with bleach
  • To remove yellow from white silk, add a few teaspoons of white vinegar to the wash.